Cavaliers need to slow game down in Cleveland to get back in series

Cavaliers need to slow game down in Cleveland to get back in series
(Photo from @cavs/ Twitter) Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James sizes up Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry in the 2016 NBA Finals.

The Golden State Warriors kept their undefeated 2017 playoff record, improving to 14-0 after a victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers of 132-113. Both of the teams’ squads had triple-doubles, with Cavaliers forward LeBron James having 29 points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds while Warriors guard Stephen Curry had 32 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds. The opposing triple-doubles in the postseason were the first scenario of its kind in the NBA since Game 2 of the 1980 Eastern Conference Finals between New York Knicks guard Walt Fraizer and Milwaukee Bucks center Lew Alcindor. James’ eighth triple-double of his finals career tied Los Angeles Lakers guard Magic Johnson for the most in NBA history.

Game 2 was the first game since Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue said the Warriors were the greatest team he’s ever seen and Golden State lived up to Lue’s praise. The Warriors made 18 threes as a team on the night. Forward Draymond Green, guard Klay Thompson, forward Kevin Durant, and Curry all made at least three three-point attempts in the win by themselves.


“They make it tough. They put you in some tough situations,” Coach Lue said of the Warriors after Game 2. “But we have to be better as far as not relaxing. Not falling asleep. The loose balls, the 50-50 balls, we’ve got to get to those and when you don’t get to them, they make you pay. Every mistake you make defensively, they make you pay.”

For the Cavaliers to have any chance of defending home court in Games 3 and 4, they need to slow the pace down against the Warriors. On Jan. 7, the Memphis Grizzlies overcame a 20-point deficit at Golden State to defeat the Warrio’rs for the second time this past regular season. The Grizzlies came back offensively primarily in the paint with forward Zach Randolph and center Marc Gasol knocking down shots with about 10 seconds left on the shot clock


On January 7, the Memphis Grizzlies overcame a 20-point deficit at Golden State to defeat the Warriors for the second time this past regular season. The Grizzlies came back offensively primarily in the paint with forward Zach Randolph and center Marc Gasol knocking down shots with about 10 seconds left on the shot clock. Defensively, the physical Grizzlies defense led by guard Tony Allen primarily played the Warriors man-to-man primarily. Golden State shot five-of-22 in the field while committing seven turnovers in the fourth quarter and overtime of Memphis’ comeback.

The Warriors have scored an average of 97 points in their last five losses to the Cavaliers and 117.8 points during their last five victories against Cleveland. In the Cavaliers’ last victory against the Warriors on Christmas Day last year, the Warriors only made nine three-point attempts as a team. In the one-point victory, Cleveland forced a shot clock violation with 13.4 seconds remaining by playing man-to-man and having forward Richard Jefferson come over to help forward Kevin Love defend Green with 1.3 seconds left on the shot clock. The Cavaliers defeated the Warriors by playing defense for an entire 24 seconds, as opposed to giving up “loose balls” and “50-50” plays like they did in Game 2.

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